Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Valiente.
Vanessa , let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My degree is in television, theatre and film with an emphasis in costume design. For the first few years of my career, I was a costumer on television dramas. In between the shows, I started personal styling. In 2007, I created V-Style and became one of the first fashion bloggers in San Diego. I eventually pulled back on celebrity and commercial styling to focus on personal styling and my blog. I still style editorial, catalogues and the occasional commercial but my main focus is on my private clients and my readers.
Has it been a smooth road?
Starting a business from scratch is never smooth. Mine is no exception. I started my blog and personal styling when I was about 25-years-old. My biggest issue was knowing nothing about business or anyone who did. I was also really poor. Pus, this was 2007. Back then, there was next to no information on personal styling or blogging online. I had to learn absolutely everything the hard way and design everything about my business myself. I only made $30,000/year for some time. Fortunately for me, the one thing I did know was how to be poor. I was able to survive and still give money to my Mom on that money.
As for my advice to aspiring business owners, here are my ten tips…
1) Be professional from day one. I often see women behaving kinda goofy or self-deprecating about their new business. If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else will. You must know how to talk about your business. Practice at home before letting yourself ramble to strangers. And, get a proper website up asap. A strong online presence is worth far more than word-of-mouth.
2) Don’t be entitled. I also see a lot of people trying to charge top dollar for brand new services because that is what everyone else is charging, or that is what “their time is worth”. Your time is only worth what people pay for it. I think some people forget about supply and demand when it comes to their value.
3) Be kind to every single person you meet when networking or doing business. Your rudeness or unprofessionalism will bite you in the ass later. Sometimes, in small ways, other times in big ways. It’s always better to be kind. This is helpful in your personal life as well, especially in this modern day where we are all connected in some way. An ex-lover you didn’t treat very well could end up being someone you need to connect with as an entrepreneur.
4) Network as much as possible. When you are networking, be authentic. Think of it as creating a community versus finding people to help you or buy from you. When creating this community, keep a list of all the highly rated and praised folks you come across whether it be a web designer, lawyer or editor. You may not need it now, but you will in the future.
5) Here are some valuable resources I have used: Legal Zoom (I trademarked V-Style through them), Elance/Upwork (for tedious web projects), Mailchimp (for my blog updates and newsletter), LinkedIn Pro Finder (for finding a professional in whatever), Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (for website ethics), GoDaddy (for purchasing URLs and hosting my websites), Dayley Photography and Carlsson Creative for logo and promotional material design.
6) No matter what you are doing, buy your proper name’s URL if it is still available. And even if you don’t use certain social media platforms, snag your personal and business name on all of them. You may not use it now, but you might later.
7) Post to social media as if your clients are stalking you, because they are.
8) If you fake it long enough, you will eventually become it. I started my business very young plus I’m prone to rambunctious energy, so I had to be extremely professional and dress the part to make up for it. Eventually, it became second nature to jump into that chic and efficient character I created. Keep this in mind when you feel like a fraud. We all start out as frauds. It’s totally cool.
9) Be as organized as humanly possible. There is nothing more valuable than proper organization. I have been in so many different work environments and the one constant is that organized work spaces and organized businesses win.
10) Hire out and bring in help whenever it makes sense to do so, but also understand what you are hiring out for. You don’t want to be a slave to an assistant, contractor or employee that could leave you suddenly. Save their work and have a list of tasks and processes for every position. Make sure that the job’s tasks is updated and modified as the job is updated and modified. This way you can smoothly train the person who takes their place.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with V-Style – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am the #1 personal stylist in San Diego. I specialize in efficiency and quality. My fashion blog, V-Style reflects my service by providing efficient and thoroughly researched shopping recommendations. I don’t write about anything I haven’t tried on myself or a client. More often than not, I write about items I have put on multiple clients a.k.a. multiple body types. This truly sets my blog apart from other bloggers. Whereas, most blogs are about one person’s style or unresearched recommendations, each V-Style post involves hours of research involving numerous women’s styles and bodies.
Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
These days, being a woman is like being in a union. Women want to hire women and support women more than ever. People forget or don’t realize that women have been as sexist as men. In the past, women would often prefer to hire a man over a woman or listen to a man more than a woman, but that is dying. Nowadays, the ‘female is the future’ mantra is sticking. Women want women and there are more of us than men in America.
I also think women have a cultural advantage in creating a character for whoever we need to be. We can cut and dye our hair, pour on or wipe off the makeup and wear whatever we want. Being able to transform into whoever we need be, has always been our super power in a culture that frowns up on men wearing anything but a collared shirt and pants.
- Website: www.vstyleblog.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vstyleblog/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vstyleblog/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/vstyleblog
- Other: www.vanessavaliente.com